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“It’s not politicians who will end oppression. It’s the radicals, with the stink in their clothes, rebellion in their brain, hope in their heart and direct action in their fists.” ~David Bowie
Recognizing that his own videos would be played in heavy rotation, Bowie used the medium to attack Australian racism and discrimination against aboriginal people. The “Let’s Dance” clip was incredibly important for what it said about race and erasure in the country, and broadcast it around the world. The Guardian recalls that Bowie, in an interview with ABC television, said it was, “A direct statement on integration.” Speaking to MTV’s Kurt Loder, Bowie noted that “In the north, there’s unbelievable intolerance. The Aborigines can’t even buy their drinks in the same bars—they have to go round the back and get them through what’s called a ‘dog hatch’. And then they’re forbidden from drinking them on the same side of the street as the bar.”
The female protagonist of the video, Joelene King, spoke to the Guardian in 2015 about the video’s critical message. “It lets the world know that Australia has a black history,” she said. “That this history is alive and well. We’re still here.”
“I have no country to fight for; my country is the Earth, and I am a citizen of the World.” – Eugene V. Debs